We've gotten word that thousands of Floridians emailed Governor Rick Scott complaining about the hours-long wait to cast their ballot. We're gaining momentum to fix the system: Elections Supervisors are urging Rick Scott to expand early voting and the Secretary of State's office is investigating the problems.
Several Florida state legislators have already announced plans to expand early voting so that everyone can get a chance to vote, without having to spend an entire day in line, and groups including the League of Women Voters and AARP agree. More and more Floridians agree, it's time for a change.
The outpouring of support for Florida voters is incredible. In just the last day, we've gotten more than 6,500 signatures. But I know we can do better. Will you be the 7,000th person to urge Rick Scott to fix Florida's voting system?
The Speaker-Designate for 2014, State Rep. Chris Dorworth, just LOST his race after the conclusion of the recount. You voted him the 4th worst Pink Slip Puppet and we exposed his votes for corporate giveaways at the expense of quality middle class jobs, his budget cuts to our schools, and how Rick Scott pulled his puppet strings while special interests pulled his purse strings. Now, he's gone and his defeat is a blow to Rick Scott and the rest of the puppets.
That means last Tuesday was an even bigger defeat for the Pink Slip Puppets. Three of the worst puppets, including Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff (third) and Rep. Scott Plakon (fifth), are now gone. We acted to reveal their misdeeds and they lost their races.
This election demonstrated that Florida won't stand for politicians pushing extremist right-wing policies. Now, as we turn our attention to Rick Scott, we need your help to make sure Floridians know that Rick Scott is no different.
19 of Rick Scott's Pink Slip Puppets will definitely not be returning to Tallahassee next year and it looks like another Pink Slip Puppet is going down, too.
Some of Rick Scott's biggest Pink Slip Puppets lost. You voted for the top ten worst Pink Slip Puppets and as many as three were defeated. Scott Plakon and Ellyn Bogdanoff both lost and Chris Dorworth, the future Speaker of the House in real danger of losing. Elections officials are still counting ballots but Dorworth is down by 37 votes. That is a stunning repudiation of Pink Slip Rick Scott and his puppets.
Now, in advance of the 2014 Gubernatorial election, we turn our focus to Pink Slip Rick Scott. We're going to be making sure every voter knows: Rick Scott's pink slip agenda are hurting Floridians. He cut funding for our children's schools, laid off Florida workers, and cut the salaries of teachers, police officers, and fire fighters. At the same time, Rick Scott gave millions in tax breaks to his billionaire friends and corporate pals, leaving us with the bill.
Rick Scott is wrong for Florida and we'll be giving him a Pink Slip. Join us.
...Janet Adkins, a representative from Fernandina Beach came in second. Adkins is one of Rick Scott's biggest Pink Slip Puppets and voted for Rick Scott's legislation to cut taxes on corporations by increasing corporate tax giveaways.
Adkins voted 100% of the time for Rick Scott's job-killing, anti-middle class agenda by supporting bills to give away hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to corporations. She would increase the corporate tax giveaway from $25,000 to $50,000, providing a windfall for businesses without creating jobs or helping us. Instead, our taxes would have to go up by approximately $120 million to make up for the lost revenue thanks to the change. Rick Scott's cronies would get tax breaks thanks to Janet Adkins and we'd pay for it.
It's unsurprising that Janet Adkins' campaign for State House district 11 is being bankrolled by Wal-Mart, a member of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and other special interest friends of Rick Scott. They stand to rake in millions in lower taxes thanks to Janet Adkins and Rick Scott. They are just returning the favor.
But before we reveal the final Pink Slip Puppet, the person you voted as the worst of Rick Scott's puppets, can you help us fight back? Rick Scott and the Puppets can raise millions of dollars from their special interest cronies for expensive, dishonest campaigns. The truth is more powerful than their lies, though.
And now, your choice as the Number One Worst Pink Slip Puppet is...
The votes are in and the worst of Rick Scott's Pink Slip Puppets is John Thrasher, a state senator from St. Augustine. He definitely deserves his status as one of Rick Scott's biggest Pink Slip Puppets and Thrasher sponsored the legislation that would destroy our public school system by funding Rick Scott's untested private charter school scheme.
Thrasher voted for every single bill that Rick Scott supported, 100% of the time. If Pink Slip Rick Scott needed a vote, John Thrasher was there to cast it. And Thrasher also sponsored the bill to allow for-profit, charter school corporations to open more private charter schools using our public tax dollars. The business executives who run these corporations are usually not education professionals but simply rich friends of Rick Scott who can give the necessary campaign contributions to be allowed to open these schools. Thrasher and Scott would take our tax dollars and instead of spending them to help our children learn, hard earned tax dollars would line the pockets of their cronies. And these schools would also be virtually unaccountable to parents or the public. Thrasher and Scott aren't helping Florida's kids; their policies are benefiting their corporate cronies.
Of course, they haven't ignored the favor. Thrasher's campaign for Senate district 6 is being funded by the Koch Brothers and other special interests. They are counting on Thrasher and Scott to continue using our tax dollars to fund their lucrative favors. For them, a large campaign contribution is just a good investment in buying our state legislature.
We don't have to let them get away with it. The big special interests are pouring their money into dishonest TV ads, and we can't just hit the mute button. We need to answer back to their lies. And you can help make the difference.
...Chris Dorworth, a representative from Lake Mary came in fourth. Dorworth is most definitely one of Rick Scott's Pink Slip Puppets and voted for Rick Scott's legislation to de-fund and dismantle our public school system.
Dorworth voted 100% of the time for Rick Scott's job-killing, anti-middle class agenda by supporting bills that would take money from public schools and fund Rick Scott's private school voucher scheme, which hands out money to unaccountable private schools run by out-of-state corporations. The laws he supported would take money from public schools and fund Rick Scott's private school voucher scheme, which hands out money to poorly-run, unaccountable private schools run by out-of-state corporations. Dorworth also supported a "parent trigger" bill that would allow public schools to be turned over to private charter school operators. These are run by companies that have highly-paid lobbyists who can afford to give campaign contributions to extremist politicians like Rick Scott and Chris Dorworth. There's a reason the Florida PTA and almost every parent group opposed the bill, but Chris Dorworth and Rick Scott want to give control of our public schools over to their friends who run private education corporations.
Dorworth's campaign for State House district 29 is being funded by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Koch Brothers, and similar special interest friends of Rick Scott. It's enough to make you wonder who Dorworth really serves: them or us?
And the 3rd Worst Pink Slip Puppet is...
In third is Ellyn Bogdanoff, a state senator from Fort Lauderdale. She's one of Rick Scott's biggest Pink Slip Puppets and co-sponsored a bill to let nearly half of Florida corporations get away without paying taxes.
Bogdanoff voted for Rick Scott's job-killing, anti-middle class agenda 100% of the time. She also cosponsored legislation that would eliminate corporate income taxes on a number of corporations run by friends of Rick Scott. The bill she co-sponsored would let businesses off the hook for the costs they imposed on society. Businesses depend on government services like police, firefighters, schools, and roads, but Bogdanoff wouldn't have corporations pay for any of those. They'd be off the hook. And you know who would have to take responsibility to pay for all those services that corporations use? We would. Ellyn Bogdanoff and Rick Scott would let corporations avoid paying their fair share and put the burden on middle class Floridians, all while voting to cut $1.3 billion from our schools and attempting to privatize, for a profit, our children's public education.
Her campaign for Senate district 34 has benefitted from Rick Scott's friends in the Florida Chamber of Commerce, many of whom would get away without paying taxes thanks to Bogdanoff, and are funding her campaign. And why wouldn't they? Unlike us, they benefit from Ellyn Bogdanoff and Rick Scott's policies.
And watch out for tomorrow, when we'll be profiling the two worst of Pink Slip Rick Scott's Puppets. Who will they be?
...Jimmie Smith, a representative from Inverness came in eighth. Smith is most definitely one of Rick Scott's Pink Slip Puppets and co-sponsored a bill to allow off-shore drilling off the coast of Florida.
He voted 100% of the time for Rick Scott's job-killing, anti-middle class agenda and supported a law that would allow drilling rigs all around the state. If it was up to Jimmie Smith, there would be nowhere in Florida without oil wells. But after the Gulf oil spill from Deepwater Horizon two years ago, Floridians know that drilling isn't risk-free. Instead, state parks, some of our most precious land, could end up coated in oil, devastated for generations due to an oil spill. Rick Scott's oil company cronies could end up drilling almost anywhere, without regard to the effects on the environment or people living nearby. Rick Scott and his puppet Jimmie Smith care more about big oil companies and making a profit than protecting our land and water.
Jimmie Smith's campaign for State House district 34 is funded by numerous corporate special interests including SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. I don't know if SeaWorld benefits from more oil drilling in Florida but Rick Scott's big business allies certainly do, and that's why they're supporting Jimmie Smith.
And the 7th Worst Pink Slip Puppet is...
In seventh is Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisito of Ft. Myers and she's clearly one of Rick Scott's Pink Slip Puppets. She voted with Rick Scott's job-killing, anti-middle class agenda 100% of the time and sponsored Rick Scott's legislation to turn our schools over to for-profit charter school operators who aren't held accountable for helping children learn.
Benacquisito's bill would turn our kids' public schools over to private charter school operators who are completely unaccountable to parents or the public. These management companies have highly-paid lobbyists and give out large campaign contributions to extremist politicians like Rick Scott for the power to control our children's education. The Florida PTA and almost every parent group in the state opposed this bill because it weakens public education. But that didn't matter to Benacquisito. She still pushed the bill forward against their cries of alarm.
In return for her support, Rick Scott's allies like the Koch Brothers are pouring money into her campaign for the 30th Senate district. She's a loyal Pink Slip Puppet and they want to keep her there.
Who knows? You might just see a Pink Slip Puppet near you profiled tomorrow as the fifth or sixth worst of the Pink Slip Puppets.
But he definitely did vote to take $1.3 billion from our schoolchildren, forcing schools like Longwood Elementary to close. That's the whole truth.
Scott Plakon wasn't running off to help the constituents he represents. Instead, he was panicking that he'd be late to a fundraiser with Tallahassee politicians. He ran away from a voter to socialize with rich donors and politicians.
I'm glad his priorities are in order.
Help us expose the truth about where Rick Scott's Pink Slip Puppets really stand. Donate today.
Instead, he sent a pre-written agenda to corporate donors before the tour began and hand-selected the few parents and teachers to participate. But he didn't permit other Floridians, or even the press, in the room. Most of the parents at the schools he visited didn't even know that Rick Scott was going to attempt to use their children for a photo op to make him look good.
Today, we're delivering your comments to Pink Slip Rick. You explained the truth about how his cuts to school funding are wrong for Florida's children. Teachers wrote about how Rick Scott's plans to put more kids in a classroom meant that teachers have less time to help each student.
A parent saw that textbooks were decades old and out-of-date; Rick Scott's budget cuts mean that schools have no money to buy modern books. Another parent noticed that cutting teacher pay hurt the economy and meant that some teachers couldn't afford both their mortgage and child care. And yet, some of the teachers described working from 6 in the morning to 5 at night and being frustrated by Rick Scott's failed education policies.
A former teacher saw how Rick Scott stole $1.3 billion from Florida's schools and another $300 million that was supposed to go to colleges and universities. He's making our students deliberately fail. That supports his buddies who run for-profit schools which get our taxpayer dollars, thanks to Rick Scott.
We're raising the alarm so that Florida knows how Rick Scott is destroying our schools, laying off our teachers, and denying quality education to our children.
He's not listening to everyone though. Rick Scott is creating a PR bubble by hand-selecting who is invited to participate in his "listening" tour and is only filling the room with yes men who aren't telling the truth.
He's not hearing about how his dramatic cuts to education have increased class sizes, closed down schools, laid off teachers, and cut music, art, and athletic programs from the curriculum. He’s not hearing about the kids that are falling through the cracks.
Instead he's having his yes men blow smoke while the real problems are ignored. He's using our children and our schools as a political backdrop for his "Listen to ME" tour, and promoting his own pre-written 6 point agenda, as opposed to actually taking in what parents are saying their children need. Pink Slip Rick won't even let reporters hear what's going on in the room.
We're going to be working with a coalition of parent groups to present a unified front opposing Pink Slip Rick's disastrous education plans. Your voices will help demonstrate the wide opposition to his destruction of our schools.
Yes, our statehouse is overrun by dozens of Pink Slip Puppets. The 56 legislators who've voted with Rick Scott's agenda 100 PERCENT of the time in 2011 AND 2012 are simply puppets of Pink Slip Rick Scott.
It's no secret that we here at Florida Watch Action disagree with Rick Scott's job-killing, anti-middle class agenda 100% of the time. Likewise, we're well aware that there are going to be times when some members of the legislature will cast a vote we don't like.
But when 56 legislators vote lock-step with Pink Slip Rick every single time, something is clearly wrong. These Pink Slip Puppets aren't representing the voters who sent them to Tallahassee – they are taking orders from Rick Scott instead.
It's bad enough that we have to fight against a governor determined to dismantle the middle class. The fact that his job-killing agenda is supported by 56 puppets in the legislature 100% of the time – that's disgusting, and it's time to hold the Pink Slip Puppets accountable.
Thank you for helping us hold our government accountable,
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